Healthy Living for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge

One of BCFS’ dozens of residential facilities serves adults with developmental disabilities. The nurses at the facility, Patricia Matthews and Belinda Brock, warn that people with disabilities have a higher risk of obesity. They monitor the residents closely to identify nutritional related problems and help the residents find the right exercise for them. "I knew there had to be something better for our residents. I wanted them to be active and healthy, with healthy blood pressures and blood sugars," says Patricia Matthews, RN.

Tactics

Recreation and exercise are integral parts of each resident’s daily routine. The residential facility has well-equipped physical fitness areas where residents, under staff supervision, exercise for one hour a day, at least five days a week and on the weekends at their leisure. Water aerobics, walking, sports, and other organized activities encourage residents to stay physically fit.

Outcomes

Over the last 8 years, BCFS has orchestrated a lifestyle change at the facility – today, the residents are a total of over 1,000 pounds lighter than when they took up residence at the facility. "We have been able to actually transform them from the inside out. Their meds are going down. They are not as hypertensive and their life expectancy is going up," says Patricia Matthews.